Author Topic: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?  (Read 22906 times)

lulero

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Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2011, 01:51:35 AM »
Add the ability to throw rocks or something? You start with none and each island would have a rock to pick. Would also add another choice: can you get the rock on this island or do you have to reach the exit?

Probably not good either as you'll always target yetis, so still forced. Maybe with limited range?

Also not sure if you should give the ability to "wait", but it is frustrating when your only available first move gets you at melee range with 2 goblins. Guess you could throw your rock, hence staying on your bridge with only one neighbour tile, which feels like scumming :-/

TBH I don't like this rock idea much. I'll try harder!

Also pretty sure that last island I was on was downright impossible (9 ennemies, mostly goblins and skeletons with a yeti in the far back), what's your take on this for later versions?

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Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2011, 02:21:33 AM »
I like the fact that skeletons can be permanently killed with the cost of another turn.

The two things I think would help
  • the ability to stand still for a turn
  • Frog - lets you hop over one tile when killed

jasonpickering

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Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2011, 02:30:23 AM »
thanks the skeleton is my favorite so far. yeah the skip turn would be nice, but if the player always has it they can abuse it to get a monster next to them. my original fix is below

oh yeah there is no balance in the game right now. all enemies are equally rare so the balance is really broken. I thought maybe I could give the playable character one skill. it recharges at the beginning of each island. Maybe they can freeze, use a fireball, or swap places. originally the plan was to add potions to the game. the player was given a random assortment of 10 potions. they were then able to choose 5. there was no way to get anymore potions once you embarked, so one had to plan ahead and try and save yourself for any situation. Also using a potion took a turn and many a time I drank a heath potion just to skip my turn and get an enemy closer. the problem was that they broke the game because they made you to powerful. I had an idea of adding them on the island, randomly placed like the monster. they would be auto used as soon as you stepped on their tile.

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Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2011, 02:46:22 AM »
Currently I do not have enough control over how I meet the monsters for it to be a meaningful game.
Adding more monsters helps this as the special abilities add more meaningful decisions.

lulero

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Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2011, 02:50:08 AM »
Yeah the ability to wait a turn would probably makes it even more forced.

Not sure I got Hi's frog idea right, but a somewhat common monster that let you kill it and move in the same turn would be nice. More movement == more options. Make it a slime or something '@' would have to walk over to kill, sword/stick don't hurt them.

I'd keep it the way it is for now and try to tune the death effects with this idea (and simplicity) in mind. Monster rarity will be a must at some point.

jasonpickering

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Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2011, 02:56:14 AM »
I think you are right. I will need to set up the rarity system at some point, might as well do it now. I think maybe what I should do is list out problems I have and then figure out effects that could counteract those problems. Another thing I plan to add is special attacks. for example. the baby dragon dies in 1 hit. it has no special death, but it attacks by laying down a 3 tile fire attack. this fire will kill anything in its path. so in theory you could take a hit from the dragon and in return take out 2 badguys, and if one of them was a fairy you would be in luck as it would cancel out the damage taken.

it seems the biggest hurdle to the player is movement. the player needs to be able to get around better. I could take a chess example and give the player 8 way movement while keeping the enemies in 4.

lulero

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Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2011, 03:25:36 AM »
8 ways movements will make the game a lot (too much) easier:
- This mouse will hit first? Move back in a diagonal once, problem solved
- Way easier to run for the exit
- Possible to kill goblins without being hit at all

If you go that way you need to make it harder somehow.

You say the goal is island #5 only? Maybe the answer is to forget about random generation and have 5-10 premade islands for each "level". Some islands can be really interesting even with the current setup, if premade you'd have control over that.

At the very least you'll be able to point out what makes a good setup and come back to random generation later with a smarter algorithm. After all it's more like a puzzle than a dungeon crawler. Because of this aspect, it might also be interesting to make the AI 100% deterministic.

jasonpickering

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Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2011, 03:44:20 AM »
interesting. It shouldn't be to hard to swap out the dungeon generation code for the premade system. it would give me greater control for testing. right now the game is pure random generation.

Islands are built out of a center node by just adding a tile at a time until they have enough and monsters are randomly chosen from an array and then placed on any open spot. Cleaning up the algorithm could be a big help. Also with the AI so simple I can pretty much don pencil mockups of every level and figure out how the combat would go, without having to write a line of code.

What do you mean by "make the AI 100% deterministic"


lulero

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Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2011, 04:01:14 AM »
=----
######
#....#
>..g.#
#.@..>
#....#
######

In this situation will the goblin move down or left? If it goes down, players goes up and repeat untill there is a way toward the exit.

In this case the randomness is a good thing tho as it can be exploited in a somewhat fun way, but with a tricky setup it might be hard to figure if it's always beatable as monsters move a bit randomly.

jasonpickering

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Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2011, 04:07:53 AM »
so you mean giving the monster a more specific AI. like favoring left and right over up and down?

lulero

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Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2011, 04:29:40 AM »
Yep, deterministic is the word. Had some cases where non-determinism (randomness) killed/saved me. Like this one:

=----
######
#....#
>.s..#
#.@s.>
#....#
######

Player to move, only one heart left. If you paid attention till the start and know which skeleton moves first you have 50% odds to make it.

As long as it is random you might design a level, beat it, but if the monsters move another way it's impossible to win.

Also let's say AI now favors vertical movements over horizontal ones (which makes sense as they might tend to block the exit), level designer can use this fact as a very advanced puzzle element. In the above example if the top skeleton moves first, then the player can move left and win.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2011, 04:35:28 AM by lulero »

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Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2011, 04:35:00 AM »
I would prefer nondeterministic  because DROD (deadly rooms of death) already exists.

jasonpickering

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Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2011, 04:37:46 AM »
I never tried DROD maybe I should give that a go? would it be helpful as a reference?

lulero

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Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #28 on: December 20, 2011, 04:38:04 AM »
Most roguelike are random, IMO it's only natural for a puzzle oriented one to be deterministic.

I didn't try DROD yet tho, thank you for the reminder.

jasonpickering

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Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« Reply #29 on: December 20, 2011, 04:51:55 AM »
Well I guess the real question is, could I build an Algorithm that followed a set of rules and built good puzzles. I think Desktop Dungeons did a fairly good job at accomplishing something like this. I would just have to figure out where problems are caused, I think the main problem is the lack of choice on the player though. Desktop Dungeons for example allows you so much movement and the monsters dont move or attack unless you strike first. this of course doesn't work for this plan.